Continuous Positive Airway Pressure(CPAP) therapy is a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.
If you have noticed any symptoms of sleep apnea or the doctor has diagnosed you with it, you may be asked to use a CPAP mask as a part of the treatment. This article will help you explore the best CPAP devices on the market right now. Read on to know more about sleep apnea and CPAP devices. Also, don’t forget to go through our comprehensive buying guide for a smarter purchase.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious sleeping disorder that involves the involuntary cessation of breathing during the night. In apnea, breathing is interrupted during sleep. It stops and starts repeatedly. The episodes of sleep apnea can last for 10 seconds or more and occur hundreds of times during the night.
Snoring happens to be the most common symptom of sleep apnea. But that doesn’t mean that all those who snore have sleep apnea. If your snoring is followed by silent breathing pauses and choking and gasping sounds, it could indicate sleep apnea. You should not delay your visit to the doctor if you suspect sleep apnea. Undiagnosed and untreated apnea can lead to serious complications, such as heart attack, diabetes, cancer, and cognitive and behavioral disorders.
Continuous positive air pressure therapy is an excellent device for treatment of all types of apnea. CPAP therapy is given with the help of a CPAP machine. The CPAP device sends a constant flow of pressurized air through the airways, thus preventing the throat from collapsing.
CPAP masks come in different styles, materials, shapes, sizes, and prices to cater to the needs of different individuals. These masks have been designed, keeping in mind the different head shapes, sleeping positions, and pressure needs. CPAP masks are of the following three types:
- Nasal CPAP Masks: Nasal CPAP masks are sometimes also referred to as oronasal or nasal cradle masks. They seal around your nose in the shape of a triangle and are held in position with the help of a headgear. These masks are designed just to cover the nose of the user. The triangular dome shape of the masks perfectly contours the entire nose of the person from the bridge up to the upper lip. These masks come in a variety of sizes and fits and include the following parts – frame, cushion, elbow port, and headgear.
- Nasal Pillow CPAP Masks: These masks have the least contact points with your face. Unlike the nasal CPAP masks that cover your entire nose, these masks only cover your nostrils. They have a small cushion that just rests below your nose. The nasal plugs on the mask seal the openings of the nostrils to deliver pressurized air directly into the nose. The nasal pillow CPAP masks come with a nosepiece or nasal cushions, which help to keep the nose plugs comfortably and securely in place, and a headgear to keep the frame in place by fastening it behind the ears. These CPAP masks are ideal for nose breathers and those who change their sleeping position a lot during the night.
- Full Face CPAP Masks: Full Face CPAP masks are a perfect pick for those who breathe through their mouth or have some congestion or allergies. These masks supply air through both the mouth and the nose. They are ideal for back sleepers since the bulky design is not suitable for side sleepers or those who sleep on their stomachs. Full face masks are available in different shapes and sizes but tend to be bulkier and heavier than nasal masks. They are designed with the following components: frame, cushion, elbow port, and headgear.
Nasal CPAP Masks Vs. Full Face CPAP Masks Vs. Nasal Pillows
|Nasal CPAP Mask||Full Face CPAP Mask||Nasal Pillow Mask|
|Coverage||Bridge of the nose, upper lip, and nostrils.||Nose and mouth||Nostrils only|
|Air Delivery Method||Indirect – air fillsin the frame and is inhaled through the nose.||Indirect – air fills the frame and is inhaled through the nose or mouth.||Direct – air goes directly into the nostrils.|
|Type Of Headgear||Comes with jaw and head straps||Forehead support straps and jaw straps||One strap below nostrils|
|Pressure||Low to high||Low to high||Low to medium|
|Sleep Position||Back or side||Back||Back, side, or stomach.|
|Ideal Breathing Method||Nose breathing||Nose and mouth breathing||Supports nose breathing|
|Variety||Different fits and styles for men and women||Wide variety for both men and women||Available in different fits and styles for men and women|
Let’s now check out the best CPAP masks.
Best CPAP Masks Of 2019
1. Universal Full Face Adjustable Mask
This full-face adjustable mask ensures a relaxed night’s sleep. Its soft silicone cushion and ergonomic forehead pad lend a soft and smooth feel, which enhances the user’s experience by providing maximum stability and comfort.
This mask is lightweight and fits a wide variety of facial contours. It comes with a pressure distribution technology for excellent comfort. The forehead pad is protected by patents. The mask has an easy-to-release headgear buckle and a soft tubing connection that makes it a simple and effective CPAP device.
More venting holes help to reduce noise and effectively disperse the airflow. The 360-degree rotary adapter makes it a comfortable wear. It is antibacterial and seal-packed that ensures the health of the user.
- Adapts to different faces
- 360-degree rotary adapter
- More venting holes to reduce noise and disperse airflow effectively
- Sealed packaging
- Size issues
2. DreamWear Nasal Mask
The revolutionary top of the head design allows you to sleep in any position, even on your stomach. The innovative design of this nasal mask prevents red marks, discomfort, or irritation in the nostrils or on the nose bridge. It offers many benefits of nasal and pillow masks to allow the patients to have the best of both types of masks.
This mask is more comfortable and allows more freedom of movement to the users. It is lightweight and easy to use. The tube-like frame of the mask allows airflow directly to the nasal cushion.
The CPAP hose connects at the top of the head, allowing for a minimalistic design that limits contact with the face, which makes the patients feel that they are not wearing a mask at all.
- Prevents red marks, discomfort, or irritation in the nostrils or on the nose bridge
- Easy to use
- Minimalistic design
- Allows you to sleep in any position
3. Apex Medical Ms Wizard230 Nasal Pillow Mask System
This nasal pillow mask system is specially designed for women and offers minimal facial contact and a clear field vision. It comes in three different sizes, so you don’t need to fret about ordering the wrong size.
The self-adjusting nasal pillows and breathable headgear provide excellent seal and comfort. This nasal pillow mask is crafted to accommodate significant patient movement and is an ideal mask for those who toss and frequently turn during sleep. This mask system works with all CPAP machines and hoses.
- Comes in different sizes
- Designed for women
- Provides excellent seal and comfort
- Suitable for all sleep positions
- Works well with all CPAP machines and hoses
4. Sleepweaver Sleep Mask – Positive Airway Control
Sleepweaver nasal mask is made of cloth with no rigid parts in contact with the skin. The mask inflates to form a balloon of air and gently pushes against the patient’s face to form a seal. The flexible cloth of the mask conforms to the exact shape of the user’s face, reducing any air leakage.
The headgear requires very less pressure to achieve a good seal. The air pressure inside the mask does the job instead. This mask allows the user to sleep in any position without the rigid buckles, clips, or faceplates digging into the skin. The mask is lightweight and stable. Hence, you need not adjust it time and again.
The material of the mask is soft and breathable and forms a good seal without feeling sticky. This mask does not contain any rubber latex or silicone and hence does not cause any allergic reactions. Sleepweaver’s small exhalation holes eliminate any air “whooshing” or “whistling” sounds.
- Reduced air leakage
- Reduced pressure from headgear
- Suitable for all sleep positions
- Does not cause allergic reactions
- Less noise
- Leaks air around the nose area
Continuous positive airway masks are available in different styles and sizes to comfortably treat your sleep apnea. Your health care provider will choose one according to your needs, preferences, and head shape.
Before you buy a CPAP mask, you need to be aware of the types of sleep apnea, so you can pick the right one.
Types Of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is mainly of three types:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), also known as hypopnea, is the most common type of sleep apnea that is believed to affect nearly 4% of men and 2% of women. It is caused by a partial or complete blockage of the airway passage during sleep.
When we sleep, our throat muscles relax, allowing the tongue and other fatty muscles to fall back into the airways and obstruct the airflow. The air is restricted from moving beyond the obstruction, which, in turn, reduces blood supply to the brain. This sends a signal to the brain to partially awaken from sleep and signal the body that it needs to breathe. This is followed by a loud gasping, choking, or snoring sounds.
- Central Sleep Apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea happens to be a mechanical problem, whereas, central sleep apnea (CSA) is more of a communication problem. In this condition, the brain fails to signal the muscles responsible for controlling breathing.
Central sleep apnea is much less common than obstructive sleep apnea. However, the symptoms of the former, for the most part, are the same as those of the latter. Central sleep apnea is common in those people who are seriously ill from other causes.
- Complex Sleep Apnea: Complex sleep apnea, also known as mixed sleep apnea, is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Buying a CPAP mask is a crucial decision that is determined by several important factors. Take a look at our CPAP buying guide to understand what points you need to consider.
CPAP Mask Buying Guide
Here are a few considerations for CPAP mask shoppers:
- Type Of Sleep Apnea: The first important factor on which your decision to buy a CPAP or BiPAP mask will depend on is the type of sleep apnea you are dealing with. People who have OSA are advised to use a CPAP mask, whereas, those having CSA are advised to use a BiPAP mask. If CPAP therapy fails, a BiPAP mask can be used to treat OSA.
- Breathing Habits: Your breathing habit is an essential determiner of the type of CPAP mask that you should buy. If you breathe through your nose, nasal CPAP masks and nasal pillow CPAP masks will work best for you. On the other hand, if you are a mouth breather or breathe both through your nose and mouth, you will need a full face mask.
- Allergies: For people with allergies and congestion issues, a full face CPAP mask works the best. A nasal mask is an excellent choice for those with open, unobstructed nasal passages.
- Sleeping Position: Your sleeping position is an essential variable while choosing a CPAP mask. A full face CPAP mask has a bulkier design and is only suitable for those who sleep on their backs. If you tend to change your sleeping position a lot during the night and prefer to sleep sideways or on your stomach, a nasal mask is a better choice as it allows you to sleep comfortably without knocking your mask out of place.
- Pressure Range: People with apnea require an airflow that ranges between 6 and 14 cmH20. Though most CPAP machines are designed to deliver an airflow of anywhere from 4 to 20 cmH20, buyers should always research about the operating pressure range of the device they plan to buy to gauge whether it will meet their individual needs or not.
- Comfort: Comfort is a crucial factor when choosing a CPAP mask. A full face mask may be the right choice for those who find the nasal or nasal cushion masks irritating their nostrils. For those who find a full face CPAP mask constricting, the nasal mask is the right choice.
- Pressure Needs: For those who require low to moderate pressure levels, a nasal pillow CPAP mask is an ideal choice. Whereas, for those who require high pressure, a nasal mask or a full face mask is a better choice.
The market is abounding with a wide range of CPAP masks for every type of sleeper. Choose one after consulting your doctor. And in case you happen to buy one from our above list of best CPAP masks, don’t forget to share your experience with us in the comments section below.
Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions
Are there any side effects of CPAP masks?
One of the most common side effects of CPAP machines is waking up with dry nose and congestion, which usually indicate a lack of humidification. Other less known side effects of CPAP mask include headaches in the morning, dry mouth, dry eyes, and bloating and gas.
How long does a CPAP mask last?
Even the best of CPAP masks require replacement, no matter how well you maintain them. Proper cleaning and maintenance can increase the life of the equipment, but it cannot be used forever. Replacement of the mask depends on many factors, some of which are functional, while others are a matter of personal choice.
A few factors you should consider while thinking about the replacement of your CPAP mask are the manufacturer’s warranty and maintenance of the device. If you hear a grinding noise during operation, it is an indication that the machine is about to stop working. Consult your supplier to ensure whether the replacement of the mask is required or not.
What is the cost of a CPAP machine?
A CPAP machine will cost you somewhere between $500 to $3000, with an average estimated price of $850.
Do insurance companies pay for CPAP machines?
CPAP is considered to be durable medical equipment and is covered under most insurance policies. You need to call your insurer to know the specifics of your coverage.
Do CPAP machines work?
Yes.When fitted and used properly, CPAP machines can be useful. If you commit to using it correctly for the whole night, the benefit is often very clear.
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